Reply to Marcus Strom

Marcus Strom MSTROM at nswtf.org.au
Tue Sep 5 10:08:22 MDT 1995


> Date:          Mon, 4 Sep 1995 17:51:13 -0400 (EDT)
> From:          Louis N Proyect <lnp3 at columbia.edu>


> Marcus:
> -------
> You've missed the point Louis! "we do not intend to make our
> publication a mere store-house of views"!!!! That is certainly what
> this list is. Lenin referred to Marxism in a scientific sense, not in
> the sense that anyone who calls themselves a marxist is in the club.
> "we must draw firm and definite lines of demarcations". This is how
> unity is built. It seems contradictory. All the popular frontist
> rumps of collapsed stalinism/official communism (CPUSA, CPB, NCP..)
> look to build unity along "purely ficticious lines".  'Peoples'
> Unity" - what the fuck is that. It is the most putrid popular front.
> It is what the ANC is becoming. The Sandanistas were a brilliant
> national liberation movement - they were not a workers party, they
> were not a party of the new type. The demarcation is NOT extremely
> large. That's why the split occurred with the Menshiviks. Under your
>
> Louis:
> ------
> I should have been more specific about the lines of demarcation. I
> would not include everybody on the list in the same broad category of
> "Bolshevik". I would exclude Tim Wolforth who by his own
> admission has been waging ideological warfare against Lenin on the
> internet for a while now. I would also exclude the libertarian Chris
> Sciabarra, a heckuva guy nonetheless. Chris's new book is out, by the
> way. It's called "Ayn Rand The Russian Radical", 490 pages, Penn
> State Press, $55 cloth, $18.95 paper. Bertell Ollman says that
> "Sciabarra makes a solid case for his astounding claim. An eye-opening
> work, and a pleasure to read."

Bertell is one of the best theoretical writers on marxism I have
read on marxist method. I have been pondering the whole issue of the
'philosophy' of internal relations. To my mind, he is spot on
(although a bit 'wanky' to call it a philosophy), but he doesn't go
into individuation enough for me - so I have been reading Dietzgen.
>
> Now, let me ask you, when you say the Sandinistas were not "a party of the
> new type", could you tell me what specifically this type of party may be? Do
> you hold membership in such a party?
>
> Marcus:
> ------
> Louis, what is an "american" revolution? Haven't you already had one?
> Isn't the world revolution now on the agenda?
>
> Louis:
> ------
> I'm sorry, I should have said a "red proletarian revolution against the
> decadent imperialist bourgeoisie". Ah, yes, that is much better, isn't it.
>

Louis, I am disappointed. I am not going to talk about my individual
membership of any organisation when that discussion is not
collectively directed. This doesn't mean I am an automotan. If, off
my own bat, I though that such a discussion was beneficial, I
wouldn't wait for 'orders from above'  to clear such a discussion. I
just think it's irrelevant to discuss it here. I have a picture of
you in your apartment, empty pizza containers around (I for one do
not believe you eat argula (?) ) sniggering at the small points you
manage to drag out of individual lamb that wander onto this list -
which you very much regard as your own. I won't fall into that.

All the same - cut through the bullshit, and there is a mind worth
engaging in.

What you are getting at is clear. The  term "party of the new type"
is much maligned. I grew up in an 'official communist' (stalinist)
family and joined the approriate youth league when I was thirteen. We
were constantly told we were in an organisation of a new type. I know
believe we were in a centrist organisation.

You also have your ideas on what a party of a new type is. I think I
gave the beginnings of an outline of what I considered this to be - I
think you should place your cards down.

I am disappointed in your post. Rather than flippancy on this issue
("red proletarian revolution....") a serious engagement with the
ideas is more appropriate. Specific ideas have words, labels
attached. Although this is a remnant of categorical thinking and not
the thinking of a dialectic approach (Ollman is fond of saying that
Marx's words are like bats - sometimes they appear as cats, sometimes
as mice.....)

"American revolution" is a nationalistic term. 'Revolution against the
US stat'e is more accurate. Incorporated in my term is the idea and
*actuality* of the world revolution. I am not a nut case trot who
runs around calling for the world revolution constantly - neither am
I a nut case stalinist who runs, sorry, strolls around calling for
gradual 'peoples' change (People's Weekly World, REEaly!). But we
must be accurate in our terms.

Louis, you haven't addressed the core of my last post

Comradely, Marcus


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